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San Francisco's median house price hits new record of US$1.6m

Seattle

HOMEBUYERS in the red-hot San Francisco real estate market appear to be unfazed by stock-market volatility and tax-law changes.

The median sale price of a house in the city soared to a new record of US$1.6 million in the first quarter, an almost 24 per cent jump from a year earlier, according to a new report from Paragon Real Estate Group.

That topped the previous high in the final three months of last year by US$100,000.

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Quarter-to-quarter fluctuations in median home prices are often not too meaningful, the real estate brokerage said in its report.

But prices in the city have been soaring for several years, as "feverish" demand far outstrips supply.

"Fear of possible impending interest rate increases may be playing a role in demand, but consumer confidence has also been soaring over the past year," Patrick Carlisle, chief marketing officer at Paragon, wrote in the report.

"Recent financial market volatility, so far, appears to be having little effect on local real estate markets, but it still early to measure this," he said.

One silver lining for people out shopping now: The gain in condo prices has moderated as new units come on to the market.

The median condo price increased by a relatively modest 4.6 per cent from a year earlier, to US$1.18 million. BLOOMBERG